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Guy Jansen


Born: 1935 Died: 2019


Guy Elwyn Jansen MNZM was a New Zealand music educator and choral musician. He ran choral courses for secondary school students during the 1960s, and established the regional Choral Festival for Secondary Schools. Then, from 1975 to 1989, he was the Department of Education's national officer for music, responsible for music in primary and secondary schools. In 1979, Jansen established the New Zealand Youth Choir, serving as its musical director, and toured with the choir internationally in 1982. In 1986, he founded the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir.

Jansen was intimately involved in the production of the New Zealand Hymnbook in 1986, and he was the first person to arrange the New Zealand national anthem, with both English and Māori lyrics, for the New Zealand Youth Choir's 1982 tour. He was in the vanguard of the movement to widen the scope of church music, and was noted for the fusion of styles in his arrangements.

Also in 1986, Jansen set up the International Summer Schools in Choral Conducting, which he directed or co-directed in New Zealand and Queensland 14 times until 2011. After being appointed senior lecturer at the University of Queensland, he initiated a master's programme in choral and church music. Also at UQ, he established the University Chamber Singers, and was chair of the organising committee for the national conference of the Australian Society for Music Education in 1997. He later was choral conductor-in residence at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Illinois.

In 1990, Jansen was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. In the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to music. Later that year, at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Jansen was one of the conductors for choirs singing the national anthems before tournament matches.

During 2012, Jansen spent six months in Darwin as a choral consultant, which including teaching a conducting course at Charles Darwin University, and working with indigenous children.

Composed (4)

For the bread and wine and blessing

for unison singing with piano accompaniment

God Defend New Zealand

arranged for a cappella SATB choir, 3m

Pokarekare ana

for solo soprano and mixed choir, 2m 40s

When the storm winds blow

for SATB choir

Arranged (1)

Pokarekare ana

for solo soprano and mixed choir, 2m 40s

Commissioned (1)

Song for a Spring Morning

for SATB choir and piano with optional percussion for two players, 4m

Recordings (1)

New Zealand National Anthem Sung in English and Maori - CD

Nz recordings not by sounz composers